Rampion Offshore Wind Farm: New visitor centre on Brighton seafront

A new seafront visitor centre will teach Brighton and Hove residents more about the wind farm based just eight miles from the city’s shores.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 3:58 pm
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The Rampion Visitor Centre will give children and adults the chance to learn more about the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, and will also explore issues relating to climate change and renewable energy.

It is located in six newly-refurbished arches neighbouring Brighton’s West Pier Pillars and facing the wind farm.

The facility in opened September last year but visitor numbers have been limited due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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A VR experience at the Rampion Vistor Centre

Chris Tomlinson, Rampion’s Development and Stakeholder Manager, said: “Climate scientists say we have less than a decade to drastically reduce our carbon emissions to stop the devastating effects of global warming.

“We have brought together historical and scientific information in audio and visual displays to explain the causes, impacts and solutions to climate change, with a real focus on energy.

“Our attraction also tells the local Rampion story, from early development to the engineering feat of constructing and operating a wind farm 13 kilometres out to sea.”

“The visitor centre is designed to inform children and adults in a fun and exciting way, so we’ve created a variety of exhibits, to enable visitors to choose what they want to discover in a way that suits them.

Rampion Visitor Centre's Anthony O'Shaughnessy and manager Katie Scanlan (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-210715-085142001

“We look forward to welcoming local residents, students and tourists of all ages, to come and experience Brighton’s newest visitor attraction and discover how every one of us can play our part to reduce carbon emissions.”

Through dozens of displays and interactive exhibits, it offers visitors a free museum, bringing to life the story of human settlement, technological advancement and population growth, alongside climate change, renewable energy and the construction of Rampion. An interactive globe is the centre piece of the Visitor Centre, showing the impact people have had on the planet, visualising population growth and the recent impact of the greenhouse effect as well as what the future could hold.

Other features include a virtual reality experience taking you out to the wind farm, climbing up and standing on top of a turbine. Interactive games and video kiosks allow visitors to explore the development, construction and operation of Rampion and visitors can also enjoy interactive exhibits showing how energy is made and how wind energy works.

Brighton seafront was chosen as the location of the visitor centre due to its clear view of the wind farm, high footfall and excellent public transport connections.

The Rampion offshore wind farm with the coast behind. Picture: Darren Cool Dcoolimages.com

Rampion became the first offshore wind farm off the UK’s south coast and installation of its 116 turbines was completed in September 2018.

It supplies enough green energy to power the equivalent of almost 350,000 homes - around half the homes in Sussex - and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 600,0003 tonnes a year.

On Wednesday (July 14) a nine-week public consultation into proposals for the expansion of the wind farm officially began at Rampion2.com

The expansion could power more than a million homes and reduce carbon emissions by some 1.8-million tonnes per year.

An ‘Area of Search’ eight miles off the Sussex coast around the current wind farm has been assessed by renewable energy producer RWE for up to 116 turbines.

This is the same number as the existing wind farm but the use of the latest technology means Rampion 2 could create up to three times the amount of power.

An underground cable route is proposed to carry the power under Climping beach to the Bolney Substation in Twineham, Mid Sussex, where it will connect to the National Grid via a new substation close by.

Chris Tomlinson said: “We encourage people in Sussex to visit Rampion2.com, where you can take a tour around a virtual exhibition, explore our detailed proposals with maps and videos, sign up to attend a public forum with the project team, and complete our questionnaire.”

Rampion 2 is being developed by RWE, one of the UK’s most-established and experienced renewable energy producers. Discussions with local authorities, MPs, parish councils and experts on wildlife, environment, transport, geology, archaeology, business and fishing will continue throughout the consultation and beyond. Find out more about the visitor centre at www.rampionoffshore.com and have your say on the expansion plans at Rampion2.com